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U.S. Tries to Persuade Africa It’s a Credible Alternative to China

The United States regards Africa as a key arena to confront China’s rising influence in the developing world. With its new $60 billion International Development Finance Corporation and its Prosper Africa policy framework unveiled last year, the Trump administration is working hard to present African governments with an alternative development model. The problem is, U.S. officials, at least so far, don’t have a lot to show for their efforts.

This week, Eric & Cobus explore the complex U.S.-China-Africa relationship with two of Washington’s leading experts on the issue. W. Gyude Moore is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the former Public Works Minister of Liberia and Aubrey Hruby is a Senior Fellow at the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.

Show Notes:

In addition to their roles at their respective prestigious Washington, D.C.-based think tanks, Aubrey and Gyude also together host the NewThink podcast, a monthly discussion that “explores radical ideas for job creation and economic development in African markets.”

About Aubrey and Gyude:

W. Gyude Moore is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight over the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure from December 2014 to January 2018.

Prior to that role, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU). As Head of the PDU, his team monitored progress and drove delivery of the Public Sector Investment Program of Liberia—a program of over $1 billion in road, power, port infrastructure, and social programs in Liberia after the civil war. As one of the President’s trusted advisors, he also played a crucial role in supporting President Sirleaf as Liberia responded to the West Africa Ebola outbreak and shaped its post-Ebola outlook

At CGD, Moore’s research focus is on financing infrastructure in Africa and the changing landscape of development finance on the continent.  His research tracks the channels of private sources of finance, the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa, and Africa’s response to these changes. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University. He holds a BS in Political Science from Berea College and an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Aubrey Hruby is a senior fellow with the Africa Center. Hruby is also co-founder of Insider and the Africa Expert Network (AXN) and an active investor in African start-ups. In her role at Insider, Hruby works with global entrepreneurs to generate positive public relations and to connect them with investors, while at AXN, she has helped build Africa’s leading information brokerage and expert connection service.

Hruby has consulted extensively in over twenty-five African markets and regularly advises senior policymakers and Fortune 500 companies on doing business in Africa. She is the former managing director of the Whitaker Group, an Africa-focused advisory firm that has helped facilitate well over $2 billion in capital flows to the continent. Prior to that, she was an International Trade Specialist at the Barnett Group LLC, where she worked with corporate clients to resolve trade problems in the Middle East and Africa.

Hruby has led CEO-level delegations to African countries, coordinated presidential visits to the United States, and consistently works to ensure Africa is kept on the US foreign policy agenda. She has advised the US Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Division and has worked on the Congressional renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act four times.

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